Working and dealing with the Burmese

Module 1 : Understanding cultural differences

1. Intercultural awareness, the key to success in international business

  • Taking stock of one's own cultural baggage
  • The basics of effective intercultural management
  • Identifying and going beyond cultural stereotypes

2. Key aspects of Burmese culture

  • Myanmar and Burma: historical background
  • Colonization, civil wars and dictatorship
  • A multi-ethnic population living under the yoke of a military junta
  • A proud history and heritage
  • A depleted economy

3. The impact of values and behaviour patterns on professional dealings and relationships

  • The Buddhist tradition: spirituality as part of day-to-day life
  • Family and community values
  • The high profile of Burmese women
  • Child worship
  • Affability, discretion and self-control
  • Discipline and perseverance
  • Human and eternal time: the two faces of a single whole

4. The Burmese corporate world

  • The prevalence of small, family businesses
  • A hierarchical company structure
  • A cooperative and meticulous workforce operating under somewhat difficult conditions
  • State control and the power of the administration

Module 2 : Succeeding in work with the Burmese

1. Effective communication with the Burmese

  • The use of implicit communication
  • Networking and reputation
  • A multilingual environment with English used for business

2. Adapting your working methods

  • Building trust and confidence: patience, perspective and an open mind
  • Effective management: supervising, teaching and building
  • Concerted decision-making
  • Recognising and encouraging performance 
  • Conflict avoidance

3. Successful meetings and negotiations with the Burmese

  • Defining the right framework for your meeting
  • Identifying decision-makers
  • The art of negotiation: understanding the true meaning behind the smiles
  • Written contracts, their interpretation and implications
  • Organizing the post-negotiation phase

4. Final handy tips

  • Caution, patience and humility
  • Protocol and etiquette
  • Social standards, gifts, business cards, dress code
  • Sensitive subjects: politics, history, religion
  • Humour: a double-edged sword

Working and dealing with the Burmese

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